Real Estate & Construction

As the country slowly begins to open back up in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many individuals and families will soon be in the market for a new home. In fact, the spring season is usually one of the busiest times of the year for the real estate industry, and this year is not likely to be an exception. It is not uncommon for a person to buy a home without the help of a real estate attorney. However, there is value in hiring one to help with your transaction. This is especially true if you run into…
As the nation has struggled financially due to the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the federal government placed a freeze on foreclosure and eviction proceedings by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other government agencies. Many of the country’s leading mortgage lenders and banks also announced programs designed to assist homeowners facing difficulties making their mortgage payments. The specifics of the programs offered by the various lenders can vary widely, as not all institutions can afford to go very long without payments from their borrowers. Such inconsistencies have left many homeowners still worried about what will happen in the next…
When you are facing financial distress, you might explore options like modifying your mortgage loan terms or negotiating with your lender to avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure can have a substantial impact on your current and future credit, not to mention the loss of your home. If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, a loan modification request might be the best way for you to get your debt under control. Requesting a loan modification does not always result in an approval. Your request can be denied for a variety of reasons. In many of these cases, it is possible to resubmit…
If you are ready to sell your home, you may have several questions and concerns including whether or not you should employ the assistance of a real estate agent. Selling a home is a major undertaking that is full of potential complications, but it is possible to sell your home without the help of an agent. There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with selling a home “for sale by owner” or FSBO. While you avoid paying a listing agent’s commission, you also incur major responsibilities. According to one study, only about ten percent of people selling their homes…
In the past couple of weeks, we have seen many association boards conduct business by holding board meetings by video or telephone conferencing in order to ensure compliance with both the stay-at-home order and with the open meeting requirements of the Illinois Condominium Property Act (“Condo Act”) or the Common Interest Community Association Act (“CICAA”). Boards will, however, face added challenges if they have an upcoming board election but no rule in place for allowing members to vote by submitting a ballot electronically. This is because both the Condo Act and CICAA require associations to adopt rules and regulations ahead…
If you are behind on your mortgage payments, you know just how stressful it can be. You may end up losing sleep because you are worried about what will happen to your home. If you owe more on the home than it is worth, you may be a risk of foreclosure. In situations like these, one option that many people find preferable to foreclosure is a short sale. During a short sale, a home is sold for less than what the owner owns on the home. Additionally, the lender generally agrees to accept less than the amount owed by…
Denied Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Financing? You may Have Legal Recourse. Congress appropriated, and President Trump approved the deficit-spending of $350 million dollars of our taxpayer money to help small businesses. It is becoming clear that a great portion of these funds were unlawfully diverted away from Small Businesses to increase banks’ profits, and was at the expense of small businesses across the country. This apparent theft was against the law, and our firm is working to expose the wrongdoing and right this wrong. Please see below how you can investigate your company’s delay/denial of PPP funding.   The COVID-19…
You did not plan to fall behind on your mortgage. In fact, when you bought your home (or refinanced), you probably assumed that you would have more than enough income to make your payments each month. Unfortunately, things do not always go according to plan, and suddenly, you might now be several months behind and facing the possibility of foreclosure. The good news is that if your lender has not initiated foreclosure proceedings yet, you have a number of options that could keep you in your home. Once the proceedings have begun, you will probably have fewer options, but…
Life is anything but business as usual. But that doesn’t mean association board members can’t turn downtime into productive time. Board members are often too busy with current events or urgent matters that they simply don’t have time to tackle business considered “non-essential”. With this brief window of downtime, board members should consider the following: Is the Association’s insurance adequate?  Re-evaluate financials/budgets for cost-saving measures. Ensuring governing documents are up to date with current law. Update rules and regulations. Obtaining competitive bids for routine work around the Association. Ensuring the Association’s records are in order (i.e. owner contact information, lease information, insurance certificates,…
When a homeowner cannot afford to make his or her mortgage payments, the home may go into foreclosure. In short, this means the homeowner’s mortgage lender takes possession of the home. However, this is not an instantaneous or even a quick process. The foreclosure process can take well over a year to complete in Illinois and early in the process, a homeowner has some options that can allow him or her to keep the home.  In the state of Illinois, all foreclosures are judicial foreclosures, which means that the lenders must go through the courts to complete the foreclosure…
(Our firm practices bankruptcy law and is considered a debt relief agency by federal law. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code).   The COVID-19 (“Novel Coronavirus”) pandemic has undeniably altered all aspects of life not only for the foreseeable future, but potentially, permanently. Many thousands of individuals have been personally impacted, as they themselves individually or their loved ones suffer through medical emergencies related to COVID-19, including, at an alarmingly increasing rate, mortality. For those families personally impacted from a medical perspective, they have likely been impacted on another front as well by virtue of…
Evaluating the legality and validity of your home loan documents is a critical first step in the foreclosure process. During the housing boom, many mortgage lenders cut corners and failed to properly comply with securities laws in their pursuit of maximizing profits during the boom. If you have received a notice of foreclosure, your loan documents should be reviewed and evaluated for legitimacy by legal counsel as soon as possible. Lenders And Banks Originated Invalid Documents At the height of the boom, many lenders were doing so much business, so quickly, that what resulted were work process failures that…
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused turmoil across the country. It is now more important than ever for community associations and property owners to stay informed and understand their options. Yesterday, the Community Associations Institute (“CAI”) sent out an email asking for a National Call to Action to halt the filing of lien foreclosures/eviction lawsuits due to the economic hardship that many people are currently facing. Click here to view the full article. “Assessments are the lifeblood of community associations and are utilized to deliver essential services to residents such as snow removal, trash pickup, and streetlights and to provide for the…
By now, virtually every person in the United States has been affected in at least some way by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Here in Illinois, businesses that are considered non-essential have been closed for several weeks, and millions of people are staying home in compliance with the “shelter-in-place” order issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker last week. There is no question that this public health crisis is already having a significant financial effect on the businesses and business owners who were forced to close. However, there is a specific group of people who have seemingly gone…
This update tracks COVID-19 shutdown orders as of March 26, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT that affect construction projects in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania – jurisdictions in which Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP offices are located. We have updated the post in the last 24 hours to cover new orders in Massachusetts and Minnesota. Jurisdictions Requiring Work Stoppage: Massachusetts: On March 17, 2020, the City of Boston shut down all construction in the city for two weeks. A few other Massachusetts localities (such as Cambridge and Martha’s Vineyard towns of…
Update on State-Specific Coronavirus Shutdown Orders and Their Impact on Construction Work Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Construction Practice has outlined Coronavirus shutdown orders as of March 25, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EDT and their impact on state-specific construction projects across ten jurisdictions. The areas covered include: Delaware; the District of Columbia; Florida; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; and Pennsylvania. These orders largely allow construction work to proceed. Read our full summary here.…